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For Immediate Release: 02/16/10

Born Free USA calls on Montana Residents to Help Keep Montana’s Peregrine Falcons Flying Free

Born Free USA, a leading national wildlife advocacy organization, today called on Montanans to stop a potentially dangerous proposal to allow the capture of peregrine falcons.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) is considering a proposal to allow the capture of five wild peregrine falcon nestlings or fledglings in 2010 for use by individuals who will keep them in captivity for personal use and entertainment in the “sport” of falconry. Wild falcons fly for miles a day with no boundaries, experiencing a level of freedom that is unparalleled by many wild animals. In contrast, captive falcons may find themselves in an 8'x8' enclosure with perches and bath pan. They are often kept blind, with a hood, to avoid visual stimuli.

“Captivity prevents these amazing animals from fully expressing their natural behavior — behavior that has evolved over millions of years,” said Monica Engebretson, Senior Program Associate for Born Free USA. “Americans have paid dearly to bring the peregrine falcon back from the brink of extinction, not so they could be captured for entertainment, but so they could once again fly free.”

Born Free USA is concerned about the welfare of captive falcons as well as the conservation consequences of allowing falcons to be removed from the wild for personal use.

“History has shown that the increased popularity of captive wildlife for private use, whether wild caught or captive bred, often leads to a subsequent increase in the illegal trafficking of their wild counterparts within the U.S. and abroad. The presence of ‘legal’ native falcons makes enforcement of laws against illegal poaching harder,” added Adam Roberts, Born Free USA Executive Vice President.

The FWP Wildlife Bureau is considering public comment on the proposal until 5:00pm Friday February 19, 2010.

Born Free USA is a leading national non-profit animal advocacy organization working to conserve and protect wildlife in the U.S. and globally.

Born Free USA's primary areas of focus in the United States are exotic pets, animals in entertainment, international wildlife trade, and trapping/fur. Born Free USA uses powerful tools including legislation, public education, litigation, and grassroots networking in its programs to end animal cruelty and exploitation.

Born Free USA also provides “hands-on”" care for animals at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary, near San Antonio, Texas, where more than 500 primates, many of whom were rescued from abusive situations in laboratories, roadside zoos, and private possession, live in as natural an environment as possible with minimal human interference. For more information about Born Free USA please visit www.bornfreeusa.org.

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Contact:
Adam M. Roberts, Executive Vice President
Cell: 202-445-3572
Email: press@bornfreeusa.org

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